A skyscraper fire or high-rise fire is a class of structural fire specific to tall buildings. Skyscraper fires are one of the most technical fire suppression challenges posed to modern fire departments, and require a high degree of organization and cooperation among participating units to be successfully contained and extinguished. Skyscraper fires are often multiple-alarm fires.
In the event of a skyscraper fire, the first action that needs to be taken is the activation of the fire alarm system and subsequent evacuation of the building's occupants. The fire department, after responding, will then divide into various teams to accomplish different tasks. For instance, one or more teams will be responsible for searching the building floor by floor (starting at the fire floor) for trapped or unevacuated occupants. Another team will be assigned to attack the fire at the fire floor. A Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST) will standby at the floor below the fire ready to assist in case of a mayday. A team will also be assigned to shut off the building's utilities. All these operations may be coordinated and controlled from a central command vehicle mobilised to the scene.
Various roles are required on the exterior as well. A truck or ladder company will be responsible for establishing means of egress on the outside of the building, providing horizontal ventilation by breaking windows if necessary, and possibly assisting in the suppression effort from the exterior with master streams. Various crews, or at minimum individuals, will be responsible for establishing and maintaining the various water supplies. EMTs and paramedics will be responsible for establishing care to victims of the fire and monitoring firefighters who recently exited the building. Last but not least, the officer in command of the incident may establish a team to assist him in his organizational duties.